The average American clocks 44 years of screen time by the age of 60. We begin our mornings by checking our phones, work all day at our computers, and close out the night in front of the TV with a 50-50 chance we’re also scrolling on our phones. 

If you’re anything like the average American, at the end of a long day, you’ve probably experienced dry, itchy eyes, headaches, neck pain, blurred vision and problems focusing. 

It’s called digital eye-strain.

“When we look at something close-up, such as a computer screen or a cellphone, the lens of the eye naturally contracts. If you’re looking at a screen for prolonged periods, the lens doesn’t have the chance to relax, which can lead to eye fatigue,” explains Wilmer Eye Institute ophthalmologist Esen K. Akpek.

Digital eye-strain can be unpleasant and irritating, but typically doesn’t have long-term effects. Of course, if you are experiencing prolonged discomfort, it’s best to check with your doctor to create a plan that works for you. 

If you’re stuck in front of a screen all day, there’s a few things we can do to avoid digital eye-strain:

  • The 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away to an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. 

  • Position your computer monitor an arm’s length away at eye-level and make sure the brightness and contrast levels are comfortable for you. 

  • Blink often or use artificial tears to keep eyes from drying out. Avoid eye drops that reduce redness since they can dry out eyes faster. 

  • Check lighting and reduce glare with either screen protector or anti-glare glasses. Overhead fluorescent light can exacerbate eye strain, so consider turning them off in favor of lamps or natural light from a window. 

If you are experiencing digital eye strain, don’t worry. It shouldn't last longer than an hour or two after shutting down your screen.

Want to help speed up recovery? Instead of wrapping up a long day in front of the TV, try throwing on some music, lighting a candle and enjoying a little Ocular TLC to pamper exhausted eyes. 

Recover-E Cucumber Eye Pads

Throw a couple of these in the fridge for 20 minutes for a deliciously cooling, rehydrating experience. 

They contain real cucumber-extract which is loaded with vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects skin. Aloe vera and chamomile relieve puffiness and relax tightness around the eyes from staring and squinting for hours. 

Also try: Recover-E Kiwi Eye Pads

Recovery Gold Hydrogel Under-Eye Patch with Retinol + Collagen

Loaded with retinol and collagen, these under-eye patches concentrate the therapeutic benefits exactly where you need them most: the delicate skin under the eyes. You can refrigerate these, too, to enhance their puffiness-reducing power. 

Also try: Recovery Gold Hydrogel Under-Eye Patch with Aloe Vera + Cucumber